Summer garden 3

I finished the Summer garden yesterday evening and although I’ve enjoyed sewing three gardens from Diana Lampe’s book, it will be a while before I chose to do another project from it.

Summer garden 2

Half of the Summer garden stitched:

summer-garden-2

Summer garden 1

Here we go again with another Diana Lampe garden, this time Summer. My layout is slightly off which I somehow didn’t notice until I’d finished the lower blue flowers, so I quickly stitched in a guide line before the rest of the garden looks as if it was planted on an embankment. Lesson learned for any future similar projects – stitch a guideline before stitching any flowers.  I will however cleverly disguise my error very soon.

summer-garden-1

Kardinal garden 5

The weather here today is cold, wet, wild and windy, cloudy, and dull, which is my excuse for the slightly dull image of the Kardinal rose garden which I finished earlier this afternoon. I’ve already sorted out most of the thread colours needed for the Summer garden which I’ll probably start this evening.

kardinal-garden-5

Kardinal garden 4

Love-in-a-mist (left), English daisies (right), and Ajuga, or Bugleweed, or Blue Bugle, (front middle) now completed.

On the outline sketch illustrating which flowers are where in the completed embroidery, ajuga is listed, but ajuga is not included in the flower glossary of stitch directions. An internet search gave the alternative name of bugleweed, which is how it’s listed in the glossary. Grrrrr. My knowledge of flower names is minimal at best and without the internet search I would likely have assumed that the ajuga stitch instructions had been omitted entirely!

I have several minor complaints about this otherwise excellent book, one of which is that it would have been so simple to include the relevant stitch directions page next to each flower on the sketch layout page. Instead, a search through the alphabetical glossary is necessary each time a new flower is begun, and without an index at the front or back of the book, much time is spent flipping backwards and forwards between pages.

My own solution was to print a copy of the sketch page and on it I noted the relevant stitch directions page number next to each flower. I then also added a sticky tab (with the flower’s name on it) to the edge of the relevant directions page. When I’ve completed a flower, I move the sticky tab to the top of the page. (I don’t remove them completely in case I want to add a bit more later and need to check the thread colour). Sanity restored.

kardindal-garden-4

Kardinal garden 2

After a session of unpicking and two evenings re-stitching them, I think my flowers are now less daisy-like and more like the roses they should be. The addition of lazy daisy stitch greenery helps too.

kardinal-garden-2

Kardinal garden 1

My latest embroidery piece is Diana Lampe’s Kardinal rose garden, another one from her Embroidery For All Seasons book. This time I’ve reverted to using my old friend calico which is much better at handling tiny stitches than the Autumn Garden polyester/viscose fabric was. I need a miracle to transform what I’ve stitched so far into things that resemble roses but I have little faith in that happening any time soon. The instructions seemed simple enough – “Mark a circle for the rose with a small circle within. Work each petal from the inside circle with three or four buttonhole stitches forming a scallop shape.  Work five petals around the circle then work three or four inner petals to overlap the first.” Believe it or not, I did plenty of fairly satisfactory test roses on a scrap of fabric first but my scallop shapes on the main piece have ended up with points (why?) and the inner petals on the few rose heads I added them to did nothing to convince me that I was actually stitching roses. Lets face it, my roses are pathetic and not rose-like at all. I think I might be I will be unpicking this lot…

kardinal-garden-1